Squeezing lemons


“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.” – Ron White 

I live in a city with a population of 65,000 people. 65,000 people who I bump into everyday on the streets, and in the stores. We don’t know each other, I don’t know nothing about their life. I don’t know if they are having a good day or a bad day. I don’t know if they are happy or sad, rich or poor, republican or democrat. What I do know is this, we all have something in common today, tomorrow, next week or maybe even next year we won’t be here.

Death is not a warm fuzzy topic that many of us like or want to talk about. My wife despises it. My kids think it is morbid. I, on the other hand, think about it all the time. Now let me clarify how I approach this train of thought. I don’t think about death in terms of wanting to die, or that I am ready to die I think about it in reflecting and appreciating what I have, and what is around me.

Some would say that I have a cavalier attitude about death because I have never suddenly lost anyone close to me. I get that. It is certainly easier for me, standing here on the sidelines having both my parents, sisters, wife and kids still with me. But, and this is going to sound strange, death, for me has nothing to do with life tomorrow, or in the future, but life today. I work very hard in trying to appreciate the “today” because, as a friend of mine likes to say, you might just wake-up dead tomorrow. I realize though writhing about this thought process is much different from living it. I certainly do not bare the scars like so many others do.

A guy I know of, I will call him Roger, just lost his 22-year-old daughter, father and mother in the span of four weeks. I have an overall impression of Roger but honestly I don’t really know him that well. I do know that he lost his job three years ago and his wife left him two years ago and has since remarried. Describing what he has been through as a very tough stretch would be an understatement. I saw a good friend of his at the grocery store yesterday and asked how Roger was doing. He just shook his head. There were no words that he could offer to describe his condition or state of mind.

My life isn’t perfect. It isn’t the happy, storybook, fairytale I think I deserve sometimes. But whose is? I had a catastrophic event happen in my life several years ago that made me think death would be a better option than dealing with what I going through. Fortunately I quickly realized it wasn’t.

Here is my long and short of this, enjoy what you have. Enjoy the sunshine smiling down on your face. Enjoy the rain nourishing the earth. Enjoy your daughters laugh or the mess your grandson makes in your kitchen. Enjoy a cold beer on a warm clear evening or the smell of juicy hamburgers cooking on the grill. Forget what you don’t have, you probably never needed it and enjoy this moment, right now, today.

“Life is a balance between what we can control and what we cannot. I am learning to live between effort and surrender.” – Danielle Orner

About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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22 Responses to Squeezing lemons

  1. William Tell says:

    You realize, of course, that by now I’m finding innuendo in every single post title; no?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ms. SG41 says:

    I have similar thoughts about death — although, my thoughts get me anxious that I need to hurry up and live more. I think I will take some of your advice and try to slow down to enjoy the living I’m doing. Great post as usual

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nan says:

    I heartily endorse your perspective. To go through the limited time each of us has on this planet and not enjoy what makes up “life,” well, to me, that’s the closest thing to “sin” that I can think of.

    Thanks for reminding us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your family does now want to hear about death. Are you passive aggressive or are you trying to understand yourself? We all have different beliefs and some of us do not fear death and others do when they have no answers. We have to find our own path. Pray.


  5. etherealbeingsinmylife says:

    When I was 32 I lost my father who was 58 at the time. I have lost three of my four children, not to mention all my grandparents who I love dearly and gave me the most wonderful memories. That being said, I also have a cavalier attitude about death; however, maybe not in the same manner that you do. I do not fear death and I actually look forward to that day. I look forward to it because I know what lies beyond (and, yes, of course, my family is there). I heartily agree with you that we need to enjoy every moment because we are here for a very brief time. We are eternal beings whose time in physical form is very limited and we must make the most of it. I do not believe that life is meant to miserable and torturous. Our Creator wants us to enjoy ourselves. Beautiful blog piece. (Passive aggressive? I don’t get it.) We need to understand that death is not really a horrible thing. It is sad for those left behind, but for those who cross over it is a beautiful event when it is all said and done.

    Liked by 1 person

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